The Preface says that this piece was made on the occasion of king Khăng's accession to the government, when he thus addressed the princes who had assisted him in the ancestral temple. Kû Hsî considers that it was a piece for general use in the ancestral temple, to be sung when the king presented a cup to his assisting guests, after they had thrice presented the cup to the representatives of the dead. There is really nothing in it to enable us to decide in favour of either view.
Ye, brilliant and accomplished princes, Have conferred on me this happiness. Your favours to me are without limit, And my descendants will preserve (the fruits of) them.
Be not mercenary nor extravagant in your states, And the king will honour you. Thinking of this
service, He will enlarge the dignity of your successors.
What is most powerful is the being the man:--Its influence will be felt throughout your states. What is most distinguished is the being virtuous:--It will secure the imitation of all the princes. Ah! the former kings cannot be forgotten!